Nashville based outfit the Brothers Osbourne part the grey skies hanging over Newcastle this evening with their contagious brand of country-rock.

Due to the rising popularity of country music in the UK, there’s been somewhat of an influx of Americana stars who are now making frequent transatlantic visits. Tonight marks the Brothers Osbourne’s second appearance at the O2 Academy Newcastle inside of the last twelve months.

The duo made their mark during their last visit to Tyneside opening for The Cadillac Three. A string of UK radio hits from the band’s sophomore album Port Saint Joe, has resulted in somewhat of a meteoric rise for the group. This time around the band returns to the North East of England as headliners in their own right.

As the Brothers Osborne hits the O2 Academy Newcastle stage, the group kick off the proceedings with a pair of their recent radio singles in the shape of “Drank Like Hank” and “Shoot Me Straight”, which in turn creates somewhat of an explosive opening to the show.

Much like bands such as Blackberry Smoke and The Cadillac Three, the Brothers Osborne tread the fine line between country and rock. Tonight’s 1 hour and 40-minute set includes songs that please both the rockers and country purists alike.

Songs such as the beautiful slice of Americana that is “Weed Whisky and Willie”, the foot-stomping “Greener Pastures” and the blues-tinged “Down Home” hit the spot early in the show.

The band transport the crowd to warmer climes during the somewhat tropical “Rum”. To coin a line from the latter the crowd can almost imagine themselves ‘dippin’ their toes in the water’, as the fans sing the chorus wholeheartedly at the tops of their voices.

Tonight there is somewhat of a special atmosphere inside of the room; the Geordie choir almost act as an army of backing vocalists as they appear to know every word of every song and they aren’t afraid to show it.

Mid-set the band put their stamp on Dierks Bentley’s “Burning Man” before they switch things up during a three-song acoustic set. John Osborne, whose outstanding fretwork lights up the stage all night long, showcases his versatility by grappling with the Mandolin during this segment.

It may be a school night, but the Geordies need no encouragement to charge their glasses as T.J. leads the band into “Tequila Again” and the spellbinding “21 Summer” before they switch gears with a crowd-pleasing rendition of Steve Earle’s signature tune “Copperhead Road”.

One of the many standout songs of the set is “Stay A Little Longer”. With its catchy hooks, infectious melody and mainstream appeal the track is the perfect example of contemporary country at its best.

Brothers Osborne closes out their main set with the anthemic “Ain’t My Fault”, which is jammed out with a trippy keyboard breakdown and some scorching guitar licks from John. The song garners one of the most unique responses we’ve ever witnessed in this room, as the crowd continue to sing the chorus long after the band leave the stage, which results in the group actually reprising the song briefly as they take their encore.

Genuinely overwhelmed by the response they receive this evening, T.J. and John decide to go off-piste, taking requests from the crowd and play right through until curfew as a result. Tonight Brothers Osborne may have difficulty understanding the fans strong Geordie accent, and vice versa but one thing is for sure, all in attendance speak the universal language of music.

A five-song encore featuring a heartfelt performance of “Pushing Up Daisies”, the rather funky “Pawn Shop”, a harmonious airing of “Loving Me Back” featuring opening act Lucie Silvas and a cover of John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads” brings this musical marathon to a close.

The Brothers Osborne may well be a long way from Nashville but tonight the Newcastle faithful certainly made the band feel at home.

Brothers Osborne
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Event Date: 28-Nov-2018

About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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